It is with sadness that we share the news of the passing of Jerome (Jerry) Rappaport, husband of our founder and Board member, Phyllis Rappaport, and dear friend to Cure Alzheimer’s Fund.
Jerry was an exceptional individual who made extraordinary contributions to the Boston community as a real estate developer and philanthropist. Shortly after graduating from Harvard Law School in 1949, Jerry founded the Greater Boston Area Council to promote regional metropolitan planning. Jerry and his partners were involved in several notable projects that had an impact on Boston and surrounding communities, most notably Charles River Park. In 1977, Jerry was invited by then Lt. Governor Thomas O’Neill III to become a special envoy to Cuba to explore opportunities to democratize the country further.
Jerry’s accomplishments were numerous, as were his philanthropic activities. In 1997, The Phyllis & Jerome Lyle Rappaport Charitable Foundation was founded to support the work of new leaders in public policy, neurological research, and the arts. In a recent interview with Nantucket Magazine, Jerry stated that after his last child had left home, he turned his time and treasure toward fighting Alzheimer’s disease, which had claimed his mother’s life. “That was a disastrous disease, which was incomprehensible at the time because the body existed, but the person wasn’t there,” he said. “I was very impacted by it and I didn’t have a lot of money, but I wanted to do something about it.” With the help of his wife Phyllis, Rappaport established a $100,000 grant at Harvard Medical School to support graduates who wanted to pursue Alzheimer’s research. In 2005, Phyllis co-founded Cure Alzheimer’s Fund. Both Jerry and Phyllis attended the CureAlz board meetings, where Jerry would share his insights from his experience in business and philanthropy.
Phyllis and the Rappaport family are in our thoughts and prayers. We are grateful for the contributions that Jerry made to Cure Alzheimer’s Fund and for his commitment to finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. His presence in our meetings will be missed.
President & CEO
Cure Alzheimer’s Fund